The title was “They weren’t all Lutheran: the story of some Bavarian emigrants to Australia“.
You might wonder why I chose this title and the reason is quite simple. When I first started researching back in 1986 I was assuredly told by the German genealogy guru of the day that no Bavarians and no Catholics had immigrated to the Australian colonies in the 1850s and 1860s….until I provided a certificate verifying my own family’s religious history.
Somehow, over the years, “German” had become synonymous with “Lutheran”. Perhaps because the German Catholics were incorporated into what was essentially an Irish church, marrying spouses from other nationalities in favour of their religion. Even though they sometimes had difficulty in the early days being able to participate fully because of language difficulties, they mostly maintained their Catholic religion. In 1868, a petition was sent to Bishop Quinn of Brisbane by some German Catholics on the Darling Downs who objected to not being able to be understood by their priest, Fr Dunne. I can only assume this mainly focused on confession and general advice as the Mass would have been said in Latin as it was in Bavaria. Among the names I’ve identified four people with Dorfprozelten origins or connections: Cecilia Dümig, Andreas Diflo (from Fechenbach but with a Dorfp wife), Josef Zöller, and Carl Wörner. (Endnote 95, page 272)
Belatedly, I looked at the religious breakdown shown on the NSW Board Lists for the assisted German immigrants on the Commodore Perry and the Peru. While the Board classified them as Church of England (CE), Protestant or Roman Catholic, this is probably more representative of a local view than the official religion for the CE and Protestant.
The breakdown is enlightening and confirms my hypothesis that they certainly weren’t all Lutheran, and many were in fact Catholic. The assisted Germans on the Commodore Perry were 40% Roman Catholic while on the Peru they represented 47%. It must be remembered that this data is for the assisted immigrants only, the single people were recruited directly and only appear on the Hamburg Shipping Lists not the Board Lists.
Whether this religious trend is typical of all the vinedresser immigrants would require a complete analysis of the Board Lists for all these voyages. Suffice to say, that on these indications we can be confident in saying “They weren’t all Lutheran“.
Some tips on German research are included on my other blog https://cassmobfamilyhistory.com/2020/08/06/tips-for-german-research/
SRNSW: Persons on Bounty ships to Sydney, Newcastle Moreton Bay, 1848-66, NSW Archives Kit, CGS 5317, Microfilms 2463, 2469, 2471
Commodore Perry arrived Sydney 26 April 1855
Peru arrived Sydney 23 May 1855
Robert Dunne 1830-1917 Archbishop of Brisbane. Byrne, Neil J, University of Queensland Press, Brisbane 1991.